12-minute cacio e pepe spaghetti squash

12-minute cacio e pepe spaghetti squash?!

Sure thing. “Cacio e pepe” is Italian for “cheese and pepper”. I simply dressed the squash with local olive oil from Olinda Olive Oil, basil, lemon juice and lemon zest. It ended up being a perfect porching plate! My Charleston apartment has a precious pearly white porch with a baby blue floor, surrounded by vibrant, emerald jungle-like trees that make the most beautiful sound when the breeze blows.

Loquat trees blooming right outside my kitchen window remind me that the freshest ingredients are alive right in our town. I utilized basil that is growing in a flower pot on my porch, lemons from a local farm (provided by Lowcountry Street Grocery) and olive oil from my friend who owns Olinda Olive Oil.

She gifted me a gallon to fuel my cooking adventures. How sweet is that?? Y'all have to try her olive oil. You can purchase it on her on her website's shopping tab . A couple years ago, during my internship with News 2 in Charleston, SC, I interviewed her for one of my television segments that my friend, Tate Fowler, filmed! Check it out here.

12-minute cacio e pepe spaghetti squash

1 spaghetti squash

1 lemon, juiced and zested

Fresh basil to taste, torn or julienned, plus additional for garnish

1/2 cup Parmesan, freshly grated, plus additional for garnish

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper, to taste

Prick the spaghetti squash 10 times or so, until pricked on each side.

Microwave for 6 minutes, carefully turn over onto the other side using a thick dish towel, and microwave for 6 more minutes.

Carefully remove from the microwave with a thick dish towel, and let cool for a 10 minutes. Cut in half lengthwise, and remove the seeds of both halves with a large spoon. Discard.

Using a fork, scrape the "spaghetti" strands out of the squash and into a large bowl. Add lemon juice, lemon zest, basil, parmesan, olive oil, salt and pepper. Mix with a fork until combined, the cheese should be melted and the olive oil should coat all of the "spaghetti".

Put 1/2 of the mixture evenly into each of the halves, and garnish with additional basil and cheese, if you'd like.

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